The rich get richer. The Pioneer Press reports, “ST. PAUL — Minnesota Public Radio said Wednesday it recently received one of the largest donations any public radio station ever has received. A donor who asked to remain anonymous gave $10 million to MPR and its parent company, American Public Media, the St. Paul-based public broadcaster said. The donor is a longtime supporter who is passionate about classical music and music education … .”
For MPR, Riham Feshir says, “The gift was given without restrictions. The company said the money will go toward funding technology to enable digital growth and audience integration, as well as classical music programming, music in schools and marketing. ‘We’re deeply grateful for every member and donor who shares our passion for public service and our dreams for the future,’ [American Public Media Group CEO Jon] McTaggart said. ‘This is a very special donor who’s making a transformative investment to help make those dreams a reality.’”
So it’s not just Marco Rubio, you say? Pro Publica (via the PiPress) says, “On Sept. 24 and 25, Rep. Betty McCollum was attending her son’s wedding in Japan when Congress took 12 votes. Nine months earlier, Rep. Rick Nolan faced ‘ongoing issues surrounding the health of my youngest daughter’ and missed nine votes in the House. Then-Rep. Michele Bachmann cited vague ‘responsibilities within my district’ for a string of votes she missed from May 6 through May 9 of 2014. In all these cases, the Minnesota lawmakers later filed what are called “Personal Explanations” to say how they would have voted on the missed votes, and — if they want — explain why they were absent. ProPublica has compiled all of these Personal Explanations since 2007 into a single database … of Minnesota’s current House members, Democrats have missed more votes than Republicans. All five Democratic members of Minnesota’s delegation have a higher miss percentage than the three Republican members.”
A study to tell us something we already knew. The PiPress story says, “Health insurer UCare suffered a catastrophic loss in competitive health plan bidding this summer in large part because its price proposals were far more expensive than competitors, newly released state data shows. The data provides an inside look into one of the most expensive functions of state government: the public health programs that support health care for hundreds of thousands of low-income Minnesotans. It also sheds light on the high-stakes world of one of Minnesota’s major industries, health care, where the fortunes of large companies turned on whether or not they won a bid to manage care for Minnesota’s neediest citizens.”
In food news, the AP says, “Kroger said Wednesday that it plans to buy fellow grocer Roundy’s for about $178 million to expand in the Midwest. Roundy’s Inc. owns about 150 stores in Wisconsin and Illinois. Its shops include Copps, Mariano’s, Metro Market and Pick ‘n Save. It formerly owned Rainbow Foods stores in Minnesota, which it shut down or sold off in recent years.”
But not for eating. Dennis Anderson of the Strib reports a record-breaker. “The first day Robert Hawkins fished on Lake Mille Lacs, the first and only fish he caught was a 57-inch muskie, landed on a fly rod — a possible world record. Hawkins, a Minnesota transplant via Montana, set out on Mille Lacs on Monday at daybreak, accompanied by two pals. About 10:30 that morning, after casting a custom-made foot-long fly into about 10 feet of water, he hooked a muskie estimated to weigh more than 50 pounds.” That’s kinda like peaking in high school.
Worth a shot, I guess. Says Paul Walsh in the Strib, “A motorist roaring along the interstate in Minneapolis at nearly 100 miles per hour was stopped by a state trooper and suspected of also being drunk, the State Patrol says. That’s when the 32-year-old man from Rosemount ‘immediately went into a seizure-like activity and fell to the ground,’ read a description of the Halloween night stop on the patrol’s Facebook page. Turns out, the patrol said, that Matthew K. Hartley admitted upon arrival at Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) that he was faking the sudden affliction in hopes of dodging the drunken-driving allegation.”
Because we never heard the end of the Vikings moving to LA unless we, the hard-working taxpayers, ponied up serious cash, here’s the latest from Southern California … which is struggling to be major league. Sam Farmer and Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times report, “In the pitched battle to return the National Football League to Los Angeles, the proposed stadium in Carson seemed to face a difficult path. The $1.7-billion project backed by the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders would be built on top of a former landfill and its planning lagged behind a rival proposal in Inglewood. But on Wednesday, Carson made a bold move to elevate its standing in the stadium competition. The Chargers and Raiders appointed Disney Chairman and CEO Robert Iger to oversee their effort should the owners choose the Carson project over the Inglewood stadium backed by St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke.”
Also in the realm of the soon-to-be-Super Bowl champion Vikings. The AP says, “Even after suffering a concussion that appeared to knock him out cold on the turf last Sunday, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was able to greet his teammates warmly as they came off the field following another victory. Bridgewater was back at practice on Wednesday, keeping the optimism high that he will be back on the field this Sunday in Oakland. ‘He’s progressing nicely,’ coach Mike Zimmer said.” Y.A. Tittle would play.
Also in sports, Phil Miller of the Strib writes on the trade of Aaron Hicks to the Yankees. “Twins backup catchers batted a combined .161 in 2015, so [John Ryan] Murphy projects as a big upgrade there, even if [Kurt] Suzuki remains the starter. And the newcomer has a good defensive reputation, too. He threw out eight of 29 potential base-stealers last season, or 28 percent. Suzuki threw out 15 percent (14 of 94). ‘He’s got a very strong arm, it’s a pretty accurate arm. We believe with those attributes, there’s not a lot of downside,’ Antony said. ‘If the bat plays, that makes him a two-way threat.’”
Personally, I’m not prepared for this. Jay Boller at City Pages says, “Lock up your non-gender-specific tweens: Justin Bieber is coming to town! The gabbed-about pop megastar announced plans Wednesday to visit Target Center on June 19 of next year as part of his Purpose World Tour. … Biebsie seems determined to avoid the self-destructive tabloid antics that kept the nation’s moms so enthralled. In a recent Billboard cover story, he focuses on attending church while avoiding talk of public urination, brothels, drag racing, illegal monkeys, deportation efforts, and landing in jail. Ya know, the good stuff.”